Bryan Animal Caregivers is raffling off a brand-new Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop. Check out bryanac.org for tickets and details.
On a drizzly, dreary, mid-December day, a group of women enthusiastically oversee a fundraiser bake sale outside of the Richmond Hill Food Lion.
Two tables at two different entrances to the store are laden with cookies, cakes, fudge and pies, all decorated with brightly-colored cellophane and ribbons.
Each of the women has been here for four hours. Despite the weather, they will remain at their post until they’ve sold most of the items or have raised an amount they deem sufficient.
“Can we tempt you with something sweet for a good cause?” Kathy Waites asks each patron this, or some variation of it, as they enter or exit the store.
The women are all volunteers with Bryan Animal Caregivers (BAC), an organization advocating for the spaying and neutering of household pets by providing low-cost vouchers through local veterinary partners.
“Animals right here in Richmond Hill are put to sleep every week because there are just too many of them,” said Karen Rogers, president of BAC. “We try to do our part to make sure they don't get there by fixing them.”
BAC provides vouchers for low-cost spaying and neutering procedures to families who call or write in. The vouchers are mailed and can then be used with participating veterinarians or clinics.
Rogers hopes that more people will take advantage of the voucher program and that BAC can raise awareness of the need to fix pets.
“There are just too many animals,” said Rogers. “There just aren’t enough homes for them and these animals are just born euthanized.”
In addition to the voucher program, BAC provides animal assistance; while they are not a shelter or fostering group, they help with finding homes for animals via quarterly adopt-a-thons, listings on Petfinder.com, and working with local rescue groups.
Their main fundraisers are bake sales, the annual See Spot Run 5K (the 2011 event is tentatively scheduled for early March), and the new Poker Run motorcycle event (coming summer 2011).
BAC also does their part to aid local shelters with fundraising and collecting supplies. Currently, there is a shortage of dry cat food. Collection boxes at Publix and Curves in Richmond Hill are set up for such donations.
The program is always seeking people who want to help.
“Our biggest need from the community is volunteers,” said Rogers. “We have lots of volunteer opportunities for people who have a little bit of time or a lot of time.”
Volunteers can get involved in many different ways, including answering phones, baking for bake sales, helping at events or adopt-a-thons, and even coordinating other volunteers.
To find out how you can help, or to obtain a spay/neuter voucher for your pet, visit www.bryanac.org, call 727-2694, or stop by one of BAC’s monthly meetings, held at Richmond Hill Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month.